“It’s better to give than receive,” says 24-year-old Brittney McKinnon of Tifton, who’s giving back to her community by hosting a “Cheerful Givers” Christmas Toy Drive.
McKinnon said it’s been a vision of hers to do this, and about a year ago, she had the opportunity to give some toys to some local children to help them have a more joyful Christmas.
“The Lord put it on my heart that that’s something I can really do to help kids and help them enjoy the Christmas spirit,” she said.
She saw this being bigger than what it was last year, so she and other volunteers worked on trying to get more people to donate new toys that will be provided to those children in need in the Tifton community.
“This is going to help put a smile on a child’s face,” expressed McKinnon. “Every child wants to have a fun Christmas.”
The toy drive first started last year with McKinnon asking locals about people who needed help. This led to her taking money out of her own pocket to purchase some toys for a group of kids.
“It was in my heart because I like to give,” she said. “I like to see other people smile, and everybody can’t afford to buy a lot of stuff.”
McKinnon said when she delivered the toys a couple of days before Christmas, the kids’ reaction was surprise and excitement.
“They didn’t expect it,” she said, noting the parents were very appreciative because they didn’t expect it either.
McKinnon’s goal is to grow the toy drive each year. She said she has already received donated toys and a lot of help this year, including help from her sister and friends
She explained that the name of the toy drive, “Cheerful Givers,” came about from the Bible scripture, 2 Corinthians 9:7, which states, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
People can drop off new toys for children ages 3-12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Tift County Neighborhood Community Center, located at 2737 S. Central Ave. You can continue to donate up until Christmas by calling McKinnon at 402-4342 or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKinnon, who will be a senior at Clayton State University and is majoring in general business, said it’s important for people to get involved in this great cause because it’s the Christmas season and it’s a good time to give.
“It’s always been a passion of mine to just give back,” she said.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.